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Previewing the New Orleans Pelicans heading into the 2020-21 NBA season

We go over the Pelicans’ depth chart, odds to win a championship and provide fantasy basketball analysis for the 2020-21 NBA season.

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans plays defense against Rudy Gay #22 of the San Antonio Spurs on August 9, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at The Field House. Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2020-21 NBA season is a few weeks away and training camp is underway. The New Orleans Pelicans enter a critical season in their current rebuild. Last year, the Pels failed to meet expectations despite Zion Williamson being held back. Brandon Ingram became an All-Star. Lonzo Ball is one of the better defenders in the NBA. Alvin Gentry was fired after the failure in the bubble. Stan Van Gundy is in town to develop the young talent and guide NOLA back to the postseason. Here we’re going to take a look at the Pelicans’ offseason, plus look ahead to the 2020-21 season.

2020 offseason

Key additions

Steven Adams, C (trade)
Eric Bledsoe, PG (trade)
George Hill, G (trade)
Kira Lewis Jr., PG (draft)
Wenyen Gabriel, F (free agency)

Key losses

Jrue Holiday, PG (trade)
Derrick Favors, C (free agency)
Kenrich Williams, G (trade)
E’Twaun Moore, G (free agency)

2020-21 odds

Title odds: +6000
Win percentage: O/U 48.5
Zion Williamson MVP odds: +8000
Eric Bledsoe DPOTY odds: +10000
Steven Adams DPOTY odds: +10000
Kira Lewis Jr. ROTY odds: +4000

2020-21 roster

Depth Chart

PG: Lonzo Ball, Kira Lewis Jr., Eric Bledsoe
SG: Eric Bledsoe, JJ Redick, Nickeil Alexander-Walker
SF: Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, JJ Redick
PF: Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Wenyen Gabriel
C: Steven Adams, Jaxson Hayes, Willy Hernangomez

Roster battles

6th Man: JJ Redick vs. Josh Hart vs. Kira Lewis Jr.

Fantasy basketball

Best Sleeper

Kira Lewis Jr. — Knowing Bledsoe’s injury history, we could see a lot of Lewis this season as a rookie. He was drafted No. 13 overall out of Alabama and is a solid overall prospect. Lewis can shoot and get to the rim, which is perfect for an offense with All-Star caliber players like Ingram and Zion. I could see Lewis competing for minutes as the first guard off the bench. If any injuries go down, Lewis’ value will go up. He’s also not a bad stash in keeper/dynasty leagues.

Likely Bust

Eric Bledsoe — If you read the above graf, you know that I’m not particularly high on Bledsoe. His injuries really sank the Bucks last season and he was shipped out. When healthy, Bledsoe isn’t more than a decent defender and streaky 3-point shooter who can sort of distribute. If Bledsoe is held back at all by injury, he won’t return much value despite being in a good situation.